SURVEY OF THE POLITICAL HISTORY OF THE MODERN MIDDLE EAST

The Ottoman Empire at its peak


 

The Decline of the Ottoman Empire


 

The Encounter with the West: Napoleon in Egypt, 1798-1801


 

Suez Canal, inaugurated in 1869 to the sounds of Verdi’s “Aida”

 

The Middle East in 1914

 

The Middle East today: how does its political map differ from 1914?

British Promises Made During WWI
Sykes-Picot agreement, 1916
The Arab Revolt--promise of Arab state to Sharif Hussein of Mecca
The Balfour Declaration(Nov. 2, 1917)

The Sykes-Picot agreement, 1916


Sharif Hussein of Mecca

T. E. Lawrence [of Arabia]

The “Balfour Declaration”

The Middle East in 1920

Winston Churchill (Colonial Secretary in the early 1920s) -- drew the current map of the Middle East
               

Prince Faisal, kicked out of Damascus by the French in 1920
Crowned King of Iraq by the British authorities; receives 96% of the vote in a plebiscite (1921)

1932: Iraq gains formal independence, but Britain maintains air bases.
1958: Hashemites overthrown
 

The separation of Transjordan from the British Mandate of Palestine, 1921

 

Churchill and Prince Abdullah in Jerusalem, 1921

Saudi Arabia: created in 1932

 

The Oil Kingdom
1933: King Ibn Saud grants oil concession to Socal (today, Chevron)
1936: Texaco acquires 50% of concession
1938: discovery of oil in Dhahran
1950: completion of Tapline (photo below)

 

FDR and King Ibn Saud aboard the USS Quincy, Feb. 1945

 

The Ba’th Party: emergence of Pan-Arabism
Founded in Damascus in 1941 by young intellectuals

Key founder: Michel Aflaq (b. 1910 in Damascus, d. 1989 Baghdad)
Motto: “Unity [Arab], Freedom [from colonialism], and Socialism”
Gained control of Syria in 1963, Iraq in 1968

Palestine/Israel: the 1947 UN Partition Plan

 

The internationalization of the 1948-49 war (Israel’s “war of independence”)

 

The Palestinian “naqbah:” birth of the refugee problem


 

King Abdullah in Jerusalem, 1949

Jordan gained independence in 1946
Secret talks with Zionist leaders
Annexation of West Bank around 1950
king assassinated in Jerusalem in 1951, succeeded by 18 year old grandson, Hussein
 

The “free officers” (overthrew Egypt's King Farouk in 1952)

 

Gamal Abdel Nasser (1918 - 1970)

- “During his lifetime, Nasser was the dominant figure in the Arab world” (Walt, top of p. 54)
- Signed arms deal with Czechoslovakia, 1955
- Nationalized Suez Canal in July 1956

The Aswan Dam
(read about the withdrawal of US aid and extension of Soviet aid, pp. 62-63 and 75-76)

 

The Sinai Campaign, 1956

 

The six day war, June 1967

 

October 1973 (Yom Kippur) war Ceasefire Lines

 

Signing the “Camp David” accords, March 1979
From Left: Pres. Anwar Sadat, Pres. Jimmy Carter, PM Menachem Begin